Easy Ways to Remember the Presidents

Mount Rushmore
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Memorizing the dozens of presidencies of the United States may seem like a challenge, but employing a mnemonic technique makes the memorization process easy and fun. Two methods for memorizing the presidents are acrostics and chunking.

1 Mnemonic Acrostic

In an acrostic, the first letter of each item in a list of information is used to create an easy-to-remember word or sentence. Using this device, you could take the first letter of each of the first seven presidents --Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams, and Jackson -- which results in W, A, J, M, M, A, J. You could then use these letters to create the sentence “When A Jubilant Man Makes A Joke.” Then you could repeat this process, completing six more such phrases to include all the presidents.

2 Chunking

You can also memorize the presidents by grouping them into “chunks” that are easier to remember. For example, you could divide the presidents into time periods, such as half centuries, or by significant historical, political or military events, such as wars. For example, you could memorize the pre-Civil War presidents and the post-World War II presidents. You effectively create a full list of the presidents by putting these chronological subdivisions into order, yet chunking simplifies the overall process of memorization by making the task less daunting.

Teresa J. Siskin has been a researcher, writer and editor since 2009. She holds a doctorate in art history.